September 1, 2000
September 4, 2000

Right now I'm feeling: pretty good

Right now I'm listening to: S.E.S

S.E.S -- Miracle

This trio of Korean teenagers is now very popular in Japan and are definitely a part of the J-Pop genre.

If you want to see some oh-so-exciting pictures of opening/closing ceremonies, look HERE.

PostQuote of the Day:
A:"In a nutshell, I hate my brother. How's that?"
B: "That's cool. Did you blow him away or something?"

Be the first person to email and tell me who said the above famous quote(s) (possibly from a movie, television show, song lyric, or famous quotation) and be the lucky recipient of this kick-ass postcard!!
That's right! You too can look ultra-cool to all your friends by brandishing exotic postcards on your bulletin boards, refrigerator or bedroom wall! Just email me at my hotmail address and tell me who said it and where it's from (if it's from a movie, song, or television show) and in one week you'll have a personal message from the Land of the Rising Sun!

--- The postcard ---
First correct answer given by Jasmine
Quote from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

On August 6, 1945, the first atomic weapon was detonated 580 meters above the city of Hiroshima. A remnant of the destruction caused by the blast and now a symbol for peace, the "A-Bomb Dome" stands near Peace Park as a reminder of that fateful day.

Last night I dreamt: that a bunch of hooligans were rollerblading on my roof. It was crazy. It makes even less sense when you consider that I live on the second floor of a four story building. It seemed a little too real... I was in my bed trying to get some sleep. In fact, it seemed like they had waken me up skating and shouting. It was really annoying and I considered calling the police, but then the skating stopped and I saw flashing lights from behind my curtains and shouting adults.

Link of the Day: Tails from the Woods. A journal I've been reading lately. She just changed her design (Just like me!) and she is the first person to use my name and "celebrity" in the same sentence! A graphic artist and a web designer, check out some of her beautiful pictures here and here.

The Slave Mines
of Kessel

Or more commonly referred to as "work".
Going back to work after six weeks of doing nearly nothing is not going to be easy.

This time we get a warm-up for our re-introduction to the grindstone. School starts on a Friday and the first day is always opening ceremony.  I'm torn.  I can't decide whether I like or hate the fact that school starts after vacation on a FRIDAY. And Opening ceremony…. Such a non-day. Get all dressed up for the first day, trek there and back again, for an opening ceremony. An hour of sitting inside the teachers' room reading at my desk and one hour inside the stuffy gymnasium. I guess it's important. Many students are presented with awards and recognitions for academic or sports achievements. This year, Isao is particularly proud of it's handball (or was it table-tennis?) team, which wins the city championship every year. So that's pretty cool. I was never really into sports when I was in school so I don't really know what it's like.

After the ceremony, I sat in the teachers' room for a while, and at about 11 or so I was about to leave, but then Kiyoko and Hitomi (Isao's contestants for the English speech contest) came to my desk and asked me to help them practice. I was really, really tired, but was at the point where you're just too tired to care anymore, so I gave them some help and tried something different about the way I coached them. I usually coach them separately, and because most of the other English teachers are too "busy" to help, one of them practices by herself while I help the other (I think they prefer it that way so they don't have to be "criticized" in front of a friend). But today I did them both at the same time and it was so much better. I got them to help each other with their pronunciation without feeling shown up. It was great!

Liar! Liar!
Pants on Fire!

A friend of mine emailed me today and told me that my website was full of lies.

Did everyone hear that?
My website is a sham.
A collection of stereotypes and fictitious events which don't even come close to grasping the true cultural richness that is Japan.

So sayeth one of my long-time Japanese friends residing in Tokyo. I emailed Mariko a couple of days ago as part of a plan to get in touch with some long-lost friends and my signature with my web-address was at the bottom of the email. Most of her reply was friendly chat and banter, but she summed up her thoughts about my web page with a "P.S." that read,

"Your internet site is very interesting,
but many lies are there in your comments!!"

Hmm…. Well, the truth hurts, neh? Haha! I try to avoid Japan-bashing as much as I can, but sometimes.. well… I just GOTTA. How else can my excessively sarcastic American spirit find release?  But with the whole Aya thing going on, I guess I've been at it too much lately.

So don't worry, Mariko, I'll try to chill out.

Searching for Trouble

Speaking of Japanese webbers, I found out today through my access logs that my site was accessed via a Japanese search engine.


This is a big problem. If this one person found it, my teachers or students could also find it using the same Japanese search engine (or perhaps another! GASP!!). It is ranked #4 for J-Pop (God only knows why it's ranked so highly, I only have a few J-Pop tunes on here). It helps that the average Japanese person is as afraid of the internet (and computers in general) as he is of the Shinto god of fire and destruction appearing right before his eyes and taking him into the nether-world for 1,001 years of torture (listening to Japanese enka, it doesn't get worse than that), but it could happen. Most (including some of the English teachers) don't know enough English to know exactly what I'm talking about, but if it gets out that I talk smack about my job or God-forbid, Japan…. Well, the odds of them finding it are pretty slim, but they're there.

Last night I slept pretty wretchedly. I laid in bed until sunrise trying to sleep. I tried to meditate, but I just couldn't get myself centered. I tried to find a boring book to read (people often say that that helps), but then I came to the realization that I have no boring books. Honest. I buy a book because It's by an author I like or it's been recommended by a friend, and they're usually good. And I usually get quite involved in a book once I start, so reading's no good. As a last resort I cracked open my Japanese book and Gardiner's Egyptian Grammar, but even those I found stimulating (especially the second text). So I laid there. When I saw the sun come up, I knew I was in trouble for that day. Yeah, yeah, I've been going to sleep really late (or early in the morning) during vacation, but for the past couple of days I've had no problem getting to sleep.

Not to worry, I'll get back on track soon.

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